Dunedin's fashion festival moves to city's main street

Dunedin's fashion week has returned, albeit with a slightly different look.

The iD Dunedin Fashion Show at the Dunedin Railway Station will now only happen every second year, so this year's four-day festival moves to the city's main street.

And it's hoped it'll help designers get off Struggle Street.

Ethan Cruise has been a fashion designer for just over three years.

"I think my style reflects like a grungy streetwear aesthetic, and I love the finer details so that's where I spend a lot of my time with my design practice," he told Newshub.

But it can be a tricky industry to get into.

"To have a store would be the dream end goal but it's definitely pretty daunting at this time," Cruise said.

That's why events like the iD Dunedin Fashion Festival, which has supported the up-and-comers in the industry for more than 20 years, are more important than ever.

"I think iD is really special and they do a lot for the community," Cruise said.

But it's feeling the pinch too.

"Last year we made the call to run the railway station show every two years, so the fashion festival is new for iD," iD fashion festival event manager Victoria Muir said.

"It's a smaller event, a four-day festival, and one of the big things this year was to do something for the retailers which is why we're doing this catwalk on George Street."

Construction work to revamp Dunedin's main street has been put on hold to make way for some of our best and brightest designers, which proved to be a hit with locals.

"I like the interaction of the fashion stuff and people just going about their day. It's just really fantastic and loving all the clothes," one person told Newshub.

"It's pretty cool aye to see the community all gathered around," another added.

It's hoped some of this support will translate into buying as retailers are looking at another tough year ahead. Stats NZ says consumer spending is continuing to drop.

But veterans of the fashion industry still have hope.

"We're just on the down at the moment but after down there's up. And I think because we've been in this industry for so many years now, we're just recognising it will go up. People still love clothes and dressing up," Nom*D founder Margi Robertson said. 

And don't worry fashion lovers - the catwalk's back on track to take over Dunedin Railway Station next year.